Remember what it felt like to get off of a carnival ride with questionable safety regulations — your legs feel like jelly, the sky is spinning and watching people having fun makes you want to puke…very similar to my current dilemma. It was blistering hot, even that early in the morning. The air even smelled weird. My car sat there, mocking me with its shiny exterior, my reflection in the mirror somewhat distorted. Or not. I looked a fucking wreck. Like a clown car ran into a lamppost, got electrocuted and I was all that was left of the remains. My hair was all over the place. Make-up streaked my face. And my boobs. Let’s just say that they were not where they were the night before. The stick ’em up bra was apparently a time-release version that had expired. And I noticed how eerily quiet it was, even being on a very busy 4 lane highway next to the interstate. Where was everyone?
And then I realized why it was so quiet. I was in the middle of a strip club trifecta. My club on one side and two across the street. One of them being the one Jen managed so the full impact of the night before hit me and I swooned. My lightheadedness could have been the result of a couple of things. The previous evening or the fact that I was in club attire in a strip club parking lot in broad daylight. For people who work night hours regularly, the sun burns. The vampire reference is no joke. It burns your skin, your eyes, your soul. I can’t tell you how many times my sister used to tell me how pale I was from the lack of sun…and I’m black! (okay, mixed but you get my point) The only time strippers brave the sunlight is if they have children or they have to go shopping for crap at the local mall. Or dropped off next to their car after an evening at their local hospital. It was just eerie. Straight out of a B-horror flick.
Have you ever seen the exterior of a strip club in broad daylight? Horrid. It’s hideous, actually. As I looked around at all three of these grotesque versions of adult funhouses, I had a sinister thought…I’m going to have to go in there. Well where else was I going to get to a phone? I’d like to point out that this is exactly the moment in the movie where I know someone is about to die. And it’s usually the cute black girl. I surveyed the lot. It was filthy. It’s to be expected, I guess. What’s not expected is having to walk barefoot across hot asphalt with broken bottles, rocks and other debris. It seemed to take forever…one foot in front of the other, watching foot placement, holding my breath…I finally get to the door. Of course I expected it to be locked. My life wouldn’t have it any other way. But, alas, it opened. As desperate of a situation as I was in, I still had to get a grip as I took in the smell and atmosphere of a strip club in the daytime. It just felt so wrong to be in there. Like church on Saturday – why?
Luckily, they weren’t technically open so there were no customers and if there were any dancers, they were still in the dressing room. And the bonus? The day manager happen to be the same from the night before. Thank goodness he had been filling in for someone else. He was able to fill me in on exactly what happen, including his surprise that my chest wasn’t bruised or in serious pain after the pounding it took. I didn’t explain that my whole body was aching, including my face so my chest pain was probably just blending in among the rest. I really wanted to get home. In fact, that’s all I could think about. Home. Shower. Now. So, he called my buddy from the night before who had already told him to call her once I showed up for my car. Apparently, she knew that I’d be in no condition to drive but that I’d probably try anyway so she took my keys. As the club opened for business, I waited at the bar, nonchalantly trying to hide the fact that I had no shoes. It wasn’t easy. I was still wearing my fancy pantsuit so, naturally one would want to know what fabulous shoes would go with the ensemble. I was so embarrassed, I can’t even relay it properly.
As I continued to wait and a few customers wandered in, I couldn’t help but think who the hell comes to a strip club in the daytime? There could only be one motive, especially here, because we didn’t serve food, we didn’t serve alcohol, we served ass. At least when a place served food and liquor, a man could fool himself into thinking that there are other reasons for going to a strip club in the light of day: ‘they serve a great steak’ or ‘I really just needed a beer.’ I just could not fathom wanting lap dances first thing in the early afternoon. Who does that? And who would want to work during those hours? It seemed soooo boring. But on the flip side, it eliminated small talk. You knew what they came for and getting them to the private room might be a bit easier. Plus, less competition. Then again, and I repeat, you knew what they came for…Okay, I had heard stories about ‘dayshift’ girls. And those stories continued long into my tenure at future clubs. I have no idea if it was true, they were always rumors. The one club where I worked day shift was in Atlanta and I was only there for two weeks. I quit. Enough said.
Finally, she shows up bearing gifts: my keys and phone. I was so freaking happy. She also offered to take me and my car home to Orlando. This woman had a plan and it included her baby’s father outside in the car, waiting to follow us to Orlando so he could bring her back. Thank goodness! I have never been so grateful than that moment. On the drive, she filled me in even further on what happen at the hospital, the vigilante strippers who tried to track Jen down (they failed, but their hearts were definitely in the right place) and what happen with Jen. Actually, my other friend, the one who left me the note, filled me in on the parking lot scene. Jen sped into the lot next to the club, threw me out, threatened to beat my ass, hopped back into her ride and sped away into the night. Awesome.
I sat in silence for a while. Everything that happen last night seemed like a dream…or nightmare. I had to evaluate what I was going to do next. Would I call Jen and clown, or be a lady and not speak to her ever again without mentioning the situation? I had no idea. I could not wrap my head around treating someone like that. I wouldn’t have treated a sick, mongrel dog who belonged to my worst enemy that badly. If I was going to dump a sick person (or dog) I’d at least do it at a hospital. The reason that they’re sick doesn’t matter. The fact that they could possibly not survive does. At this point, I still didn’t know if I wanted to be angry with her or if her panic was somehow justified. I know, I’m a bleeding heart but who can really say what they’d do in a similar situation?
I guess I just wanted to hear what she had to say for herself. And lucky me, my phone rang. It was her.